Event held in San Diego discusses advances in care for Wounded Warriors

Naval Medical Center hosts conference

SAN DIEGO - More than 300 scientists, researchers, engineers and physicians gathered at the fourth annual Project CARE conference with one goal in mind.

"How do we get these Wounded Warriors to recover and return to as much normalcy as possible?" said Vice Adm. Matthew Nathan, Surgeon General of the Navy.

Nathan was one of the keynote speakers at the four-day event. Also present was Juan Dominguez, who lost both legs and an arm while serving in Afghanistan.  

"I always thought I was going to war and either die there or come back, but I didn't expect to come back in pieces," Dominguez said.

Dominguez served with 3rd Battalion, 5th Marines, the Darkhorse battalion from Camp Pendleton, in Sangin, Afghanistan. He spoke to the conference from a patient's point of view.

He said, "I'd like to wear my prosthetic legs 18 hours a day without pain."  

That's the kind of thing the collaborative conference is designed to address, as well as look to the future.  

"We're looking at the possibility of regeneration of limbs and growing new tissue in people, for example; our challenge is to not wait 10, 20, 30 years to make that happen," Nathan said.

The conference started Thursday and will run until Dec. 8 at Naval Medical Center San Diego.

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